H.G. Wells returns in “Instinct,” an episode revolving around the theme of fear.
In Boone, Wisconsin, a terrified man runs into the police department and demands to confess to a murder. Sgt. Briggs escorts the man to a cell while H.G. Wells looks on, blending into the background as part of the police force in the guise of a forensic scientist.
Artie awakes in his hammock after a tremor in the Warehouse and interrupts the gang’s breakfast at the B&B, telling them to bring Abigail along for a meeting, which makes Claudia instantly unhappy. Pete and Myka, however, are called away when H.G. phones and tells them some interesting facts about her case.
Pete and Myka meet up with H.G. Wells, who explains that she wanted a normal life after all the hullabaloo of the astrolabe. She’s living with a man named Nate and his daughter Adelaide, posing in a job at the police department.
The man who confessed to murder supposedly had a partner, who is now dead thanks to the artifact, which literally scared him to death. It seems to be built around instinct, specifically the fight or flight response. Pete and Myka attempt to figure out what the artifact could be after being told by the D.A. that they aren’t allowed to see the video of the man who committed the murder, but Artie isn’t much help since he’s still trying to corral the temperamental Warehouse.
Claudia, Jinx, Abigail and Artie rig one of the systems in the Warehouse to pinpoint the location of the earthquake, which is in the Yukon sector.
H.G. Wells explains to Claudia that for the first time in almost one hundred and fifty years, she feels like she belongs somewhere, and doesn’t want to give that up for this case, but Myka convinces her to at least help get some video footage, and they bluff their way in to the police station.
Pete visits the family whose patriarch was murdered, only to realize they aren’t seeking revenge, but that Detective Briggs promised them justice. Pete and Myka visit his apartment to search for the artifact, but find little, except for a folder on H.G. Wells with her false name, “Emily Lake”. Briggs threatens Nate with the artifact and H.G. Wells grabs him, manages to knock the artifact, a jawbone, out of his hand. Myka scoops it up as Briggs drives away.
Meanwhile, Claudia and Jinx attempt to figure out a way to calm the storm at the Warehouse. Apparently, the Warehouse expands to meet the need of hosting more artifacts, but the mass and energy ratio is off because a Transcontinental railroad spike is jammed inside the roof. Claudia tries to put the pieces of a goo shooter together in her head while Jinx confronts her about the zaps she’s been hiding. Claudia tries to give him a false reason for it, but his instinct tells him that she’s lying.
Myka and H.G. have a heart-to-heart as Myka wonders if H.G. is simply allowing Adelaide to fill the hole her daughter Christina left. H.G. is affronted by this and they argue until Nate tells them Briggs has called. He has Adelaide and wants to trade her for the jaw bone. Myka goes off on her own to fight Briggs, but Pete discovers that it’s from a hyena, and that hyenas hunt in herds, which means Briggs probably has a partner who has also used the jawbone.
Claudia and Jinx head back into the Warehouse with their “Gazookas” but Jinx misses on the first try, which means he needs to use the last one at a closer and higher range. He gets on a rickety ladder but slips, which causes part of the ladder to fall on Artie’s ankle, spraining it. This leaves Claudia and Abigail to fire the last shot at the jammed spike.
Myka enters the cops’ lair and is just about to trade the bone with Briggs when his partner traps her between them. Briggs does not know that his partner wants to kill Myka and Adelaide, and resists this idea until Myka mows both of them down and runs to release Adelaide.
Claudia finally comes clean to Abigail as she confesses that she knows the Regents sent Abigail and Claudia doesn’t want her to think she’s crazy if she has a weird connection to or instinct about the Warehouse, because she wants to be a caretaker. She thinks the Warehouse is angry at her, but Abigail points out that maybe it’s just trying to get her attention. Claudia then enters the eye of the storm, and, finding it calm, shoots her Gazooka carefully into the center of the electricity storm, ending the tremors.
My favorite shot of the entire episode happens here, a slow motion, epic hero shot of Claudia who is covered in goo with a Ghostbuster quality look about her. She also shares Venkman’s classic smirk.
Myka is aided when Pete, H.G. and Nate arrive, who quickly dispatch of the villainous cops. H.G. finds Adelaide and Myka helps Pete, who has been overpowered by the artifact.
H.G. Wells decides to stay with Nate and Adelaide, citing the fact that the Warehouse and her are not a good mix. Myka apologizes for their fight, saying she was afraid she was losing her friend. H.G. Wells assures her that she never will.
“Instinct” was exceptionally solid thematically, as almost every character had to deal with fear, especially Myka, Claudia, and H.G. Wells. I’m interested to see if H.G. shows back up for the season finale, or if she finally will get to live a normal life. Warehouse people aren’t usually so lucky.